President Obama told a small but well-heeled gathering at an Atlanta fundraiser Friday night that restoring the U.S. economy and America's status in the world is an eight-year project, not a three-year project, and that he needs their help to win the White House again this November.

"This is not a three-year project, this is an eight-year project," he said Friday night. "So I need you one more time. And we're confident we can get there, but we're going to need your help."

Obama gave credit to his administration for helping to bring about new job growth and stabilize the banking system. But he said he ran for the White House not just to restore the status quo, but to improve upon it.

"I ran because the status quo pre-crisis wasn't good enough," he said. "But it was for too many people a betrayal of the American Dream — the idea that if you work hard, you can make it, regardless of what you look like, where you come from, what your name is; that as a consequence of hard work you could support a family, buy a home, send your kids to college, retire with dignity and respect.


"That core American Dream had been fraying for too many people," he said.

Obama praised his signature healthcare law for ensuring healthcare coverage for millions of people, as well as improvements to education, but said more efforts are needed to ensure the country has "the best roads and bridges and the best Internet service."

Obama also said his administration has strengthened international alliances and respect for the country by ending one war and beginning to transition out of another in Iraq. "And Osama bin Laden is not around," he said.

Speaking in the lavish home of TV and movie director Tyler Perry, Obama acknowledged that it is "not as trendy to be an Obama supporter, because it's not as fresh."

"Those posters are kind of rolled up in some closet somewhere," he said to laughter. "But my determination, my determination is unwavering. My passion to bring about change is undiminished. The need is still great."

Aside from thanking Perry and other local supporters, Obama also thanked Oprah Winfrey for her ability to draw other supporters to his successful 2008 campaign.


"And just like books and skin cream, when Oprah decides she likes you, then other people like you, too," he said.

He also commented on the warm weather the U.S. has enjoyed over the last week. Obama said it "gets you a little nervous about what's happening to global temperatures."

After noting the 75 degree weather in Chicago this March, one attendee remarked "something is wrong."

"Yes," Obama replied. "On the other hand, really have enjoyed the nice weather."

Obama spoke to 40 people who paid $35,800 to attend the event at Perry's house, raising $1.4 million in the process. Earlier in the day, he spoke at another private residence to 75 people who paid $10,000 to attend.